Mom's Movie Review: Boyhood

Three parenting lessons from the award-winning movie

With eight Oscar nominations, Boyhood promises to be a major contender at the Academy Awards a week from Sunday (Feb. 22). That gives you eight days to catch up on the first-of-its-kind flick, which tracks a family in real time; director Richard Linklater shot the film incrementally, over a dozen years (it's  available on DVD and via Amazon Instant, Netflix DVD, Redbox, iTunes and On Demand). Here are three parenting lessons MomSpeaker Hillary Chybinski took from the film.

Parenting is hard. There is no doubt about it, and it doesn't matter what age or stage your kids are. It may be the most rewarding job in the whole world, but some days, it is really, really hard. After the movie Boyhood won three Golden Globe Awards in January, I had the pleasure of seeing it with two good friends, also moms of boys.

The movie is nearly three hours long, and if you don't know the back-story, it spans over 12 years as the main character, Mason, grows up. Each year, they would shoot for a couple of weeks to continue the story. It was fascinating to see the actors actually age and change in the movie — no slight of hand, just real time passing. 

I have two boys, 8 and 14. They are good boys, with big hearts and bigger smiles. They help neighbors, they care about animals, they are nice to other kids (usually). We are a typical American family, and parenting is still hard. Watching Mason grow up and go through all the stages from being a young boy to a teenager to a young adult pulled at my heartstrings like no other recent movie.

Just like Mason, my boys are growing up. They are doing things that I'm not thrilled with, learning how to be separate from me and their dad. That's their job, it's what we prepare them for. Here's what I took away about growing up and about parenting from the movie Boyhood:

  1. Your kids may try things (alcohol, drugs, etc.) before you're ready to think about them trying them. So keep the lines of communication open. Be ready when they're ready, and if you're not ready, be willing to say that you need a little time, and then actually get back to them.
  2. No matter how hard we try, we cannot make our kids happy all the time.They will be disappointed and have their feelings hurt. We're their safe spot. We love them no matter what, 
  3. For better or worse, every word we say and every action we take has some impact on our kids.That shouldn't scare us, but it should make us conscious and more aware of the choices we make for ourselves and the examples we are setting for our kids.

None of us are perfect, no matter how hard we try. We will mess up along the way. But parenting from a place of love and joy can put us ahead of the game. Did you see Boyhood? What did you think? 

Hillary Chybinski is a crafty mom of two boys living the American Dream with her husband in the Philly burbs. This post was adapted from her blog, My Scraps.

Categories: MomSpeak